Climate Impacts, Water Quality and Citizen Science in Coastal Southern Connecticut: A Review of Factors Supporting Practical Public Health Engagement

Community Based Monitoring & the Role of Citizen Science
Poster Presentation

Prepared by M. Pascucilla
East Shore District Health Department, 688 East Main Street, Branford, CT, 06405, United States


Contact Information: [email protected]; 203-619-1286


ABSTRACT

Reflecting trends across the United States and globally, Connecticut’s coastal communities are facing climate change impacts. There is an agreed necessity of preparing for further, more substantial effects of climate change, including water quality impacts in Long Island Sound. Coastal concerns related to climate change and water quality have been extensively explored in the research documented above and comprising this dissertation. Climate change, despite significant research on the subject, is still misunderstood by many in the electorate and government. The issue has become politically polarized - even though solid, tangible effects on daily lives are apparent and impactful. As differential COVID-19 vaccine rates have demonstrated, publics can have diverse and highly misunderstood understandings of science. This thesis explores best strategies for community understanding and participation, investigate the association linkages between stakeholder participation and education, and examine the relationship between community engagement and successful public health academic work. Through a qualitative approach, this research also investigate strategies for creating public interest and building community resilience in transparent and trustworthy manners, in a context of addressing climate change impacts and improving water quality.